BUCHAREST, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Moldovan Interior Ministry began a criminal investigation of the hunting in Padurea Domneasca (Domneasca Forest) late December in which senior judicial officials took part and a young man was shot dead, according to news reaching here on Wednesday.
The Domneasca Forest is a scientific reserve, where according to the relevant laws, hunting is generally prohibited, except for the selective ones in order to maintain the environmental balance by experts or experienced hunters, the ministry said in a press release.
According to the same document, the December boar hunting involved persons who do not have experience in hunting and the Society of Hunters informed that the young man who was wounded mortally is not present in the society's database either as hunter or as a candidate for hunter. Thus, the rules were flagrantly violated.
It was also established that there were used bullets banned in boar hunting.
Therefore, the Interior Ministry started the criminal proceedings under "Illegal Hunting" and "Violation of the administration and protection rules in state protected natural areas."
According to local reports reaching here, Sorin Paciu, a 34-year-old local businessman, was shot dead by accident on Dec. 23 during hunting that involved government officials, including Prosecutor General Valeriu Zubko.
The public officials who participated in the hunt sought to keep the crime secret until the Anti-Mafia Movement leader Sergiu Mocanu made it public on Jan. 6, stressing that the prosecutor general was to blame for the accident and the concealment.
Moldovan Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca said Tuesday that the huntgate scandal damaged the country's image, hoping the authorities will be able to draw the right conclusions starting with the political, legal and moral conclusions.
"I must say here that there was no entry about the hunting tragedy in either the operative data base or in the call register of the hospital, where Sorin Paciu was delivered to," said Interior Minister Dorin Recean a day before, adding that not a single one of those hunters, who knew what had actually happened, decided to report the event to the police as this is demanded by the law.
Meanwhile, Valeriu Zubko is considered to resign unconditionally, because "he does not have the moral authority to hold this office."
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